The UK’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced he expects a £3 billion programme of upgrades to the Transpennine route to begin from spring 2019.
Speaking in Leeds, Grayling said that whilst work is underway on the key route between Manchester, Leeds and York, he expects Network Rail to begin investing the £3 billion into an ambitious rolling programme of works as soon as possible.
The Transport Secretary also said he will work with local authorities along the Transpennine route to discuss how to maximise the benefits of the £3 billion investment, such as creating new stations to increase access to the railway and finding opportunities for housing development.
At the Transport for the Northern Powerhouse conference, Grayling said: “I want to realise passenger benefits from the £3 billion we have ring-fenced for the Pennine route as fast as possible.
“Network Rail has already begun detailed designs, and provided us with options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade to meet the objectives we’ve set out – for journey times, capacity and reliability.
“That – in turn – has given us an opportunity to undertake the work in phases starting as soon as spring next year.
“This is not just about meeting rising demand for train travel. It’s about transforming journeys too.”